Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happened off Virginia coast

The local WVEC News repoted the following tonight:

OFF VIRGINIA BEACH – What’s being called a rogue wave struck a Norfolk-based ship off Va. Beach and injured four crewmembers.

It happened around 10:00 a.m. about 60 miles east of the Oceanfront.

Navy Times has this more detailed report:

Coast Guard helicopters rescued four civil service crew members from a fleet oiler Thursday after they were hurt when their ship was struck by a rogue wave off the East Coast.

The crewmen were standing on the deck of the oiler Kanawha as it prepared for a practice underway replenishment with the oiler Big Horn, said Susan Melow, a spokeswoman for Military Sealift Fleet Support Command. A rogue wave, tall enough to wash over the ship’s deck, knocked down the crew members, she said.

The ships were not linked by their fuel hoses or high-lines at the time. The Big Horn had no injuries, and neither ship reported any damage.

The Kanawha contacted Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads at 10 a.m. to report the injuries and ask for help, according to a Coast Guard announcement. So two MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters flew out to the ship and each took aboard two injured crew members. The Coast Guard flew the two more stable patients to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and the other two, who were more badly injured, to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital, according to the Coast Guard.

Melow said their names were not being released, citing privacy regulations.

The Kanawha and the Big Horn are sibling Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet oilers, operated by Military Sealift Command with civilian crews and small Navy detachments.

It is certainly nothing new or rare that a freaque wave can be tall enough to wash over a ship's deck and knocking down whoever is on deck. This time there were injuries and need hospitalization for some. This news is unlikely to be spreaded worldwide. But it does show that freaque wave events are clearly of true "equal opportunity" type occurrence. It will strike large or small, military or civilian ships alike without any concern for color, creed, or national origin. All these and more doesn't even need a specially chosen Prosidential Czar to force its happenings. Karl Marx, eat your heart out!

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